Deals Oli signed with China will be honoured: Nepali leaders

Kathmandu, July 25 (IANS) Even as a section of the Indian media sees resignation of K.P. Sharma Oli as Nepal’s Prime Minister a vindication of India’s stand, top Nepali leaders here say the country will implement accords with both China and India.

One of the prime reasons India was not happy with Oli was his growing tilt towards China. Oli continued to woo Chinese investment in energy, infrastructure, connectivity sectors and signed Nepal-China Transit Treaty which for the first time ended India’s monopoly over Nepal’s third-country trade.

During his visit to China in March, Oli struck several deals that prompted China to be Nepal’s partner in a big way. And it was speculated that the deals meant the end of India’s clout in Nepal.

With Oli’s departure, people in Kathmandu have been concerned that agreements with China will not be honoured. Some even saw a conspiracy behind the toppling of the Oli government aimed at derailing the deals with China.

However, top leaders here say that all agreements with both India and China will be respected.

“We would like to assure that agreements and deals signed by the Oli-led government with India and China will be implemented,” said Nepali Congress President Sher Bahadur Deuba in parliament on Sunday.

“We will honour them,” said Deuba who is the man behind the comeback of Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist Chairman Puspha Kamal Dahal aka ‘Prachanda’ as the next Prime Minister of Nepal.

“We have to keep good relations with India and China,” Deuba said in his statement in parliament while replying to a question as to why the Nepali Congress and the Maoist Centre want to topple the Oli government.

“There were rumours and speculation about whether the new government would not implement the accords and understandings signed by the Oli government. But I am assuring that all the pacts signed by Oli, who is my good friend, will be implemented,” said Deuba.

The Chinese President is slated to visit Nepal in October, and there is speculation whether that visit will be postponed due to change of guard in Kathmandu.

Incidentally, Minister for Information and Communication Sher Dhan Rai recently said that the reason behind toppling the Oli government was to postpone the visit of Chinese President. The visit would have opened doors for more Chinese investments in Nepal.

“Nepali Congress and the Maoists are really frightened with the scheduled visit of Chinese President,” Rai had said.

However, Maoist leader Prachanda said last week that “China will be happy” with his elevation to the post of Prime Minister.

“For the last 10 years I am constantly in touch with the Chinese leaders. The Chinese Ambassador in Nepal has informed me that Chinese leadership will be happy with my becoming the Prime Minister,” Prachanda claimed.

He also assured the people that deals signed with China will be honoured by the next government.

“My party and I were behind the deals signed during Oli’s visit to China,” he claimed in this regard.

(Anil Giri can be contacted at girianil@gmail.com)

–IANS

anil/bim/vt

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